Monday, November 14, 2011


This weekend blew.

We were supposed to drive up north to have our car fixed but the parts hadn't come in yet. So we got an unexpected relaxing weekend at home, right? RIGHT??

Not exactly. I THINK Chris worked for a bit on Saturday and I did stuff? It's hard to recall. I honestly don't remember - it must have been very exciting whatever it was. Saturday night we took Agatha to the Mall of America (apparently I am one of THOSE people now) and bought her some new clothes. Man, I wanted to buy everything. We were good though and only bought stuff that was on sale. SO CUTE!! On the way home we stopped at Arby's.

Next thing I know I am laying in bed at midnight, shivering, with my robe on. I fell asleep and woke up at 3 am. I spent the next SEVEN hours literally laying on the bathroom floor because was too weak to run to the bathroom every twenty minutes. It. Was. Horrible. I will not be eating at Arby's anytime in the future (not that I eat there with any frequency currently).

Finally, around 10 am, I felt okay enough to lay in my own bed again. I was sick all day Sunday as well, but with more of a fever and less of The Exorcist. Chris caught it around 3 in the afternoon. We both stayed home today. Baby seems fine, thank goodness.

How was YOUR weekend?

Friday, November 11, 2011


I am home today. I was home yesterday as well. We have been having what I hope is a temporary hiccup in Agatha's sleep schedule. Last night she did not go to sleep until 3 am! I am supposed to get up for work at 5:30, obviously THAT did not happen. My boss was very understanding, also I don't have any work to do.

I am home but Agatha is at daycare. I feel kind of like a bad mom for bringing her to daycare still, but it is really nice to have a day (or two) to myself, although I am still obliged to pump throughout the day. But I can sit around and read and watch tv and take naps and it is kind of wonderful. But I miss her, too. SHE'S SOOOO CUTE!

Yesterday was my dad's birthday. I called him and then proceeded to have an argument about how old he is. For the record, he is 72 (born in 1939) but was insisting that he is 73. I had to walk through the math with him but I don't think he believed me. I hope I live long enough that I forget how old I am.

We are supposed to get our car fixed this weekend but apparently all the parts are not in. We were going to drive up to my hometown and have my brother-in-law fix it for us. Then we would get a chance to see the rest of my family as well. I guess if it doesn't happen this weekend, we will go up next weekend, so it will happen, but I was looking forward to seeing everyone THIS weekend.

AMK is in town and I need to shower and get dressed (and pump) before I meet her for lunch. Also, I don't have anything else to say.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


We've been hitting lots of milestones lately...let's begin:

Today marked my fourth week back at work. So far it has been pretty easy. My dedicated job duties were taken away from me and I was instructed to just help my team mates as needed, so my work load has been pretty light. That, combined with pumping, has made the transition easy. I think some good changes will be happening at work soon, so I am also excited for that. The best part of my day is still picking Agatha up at day care after work and spending a nice hour or so just the two of us. My second favorite part of the day is lunch because nom nom nom I am so HUNGRY all the time!

November 5th marked one year since I quit smoking. I quit smoking the day I found out I was pregnant. I always said I would quit smoking when I turned 30 or got pregnant. It just so happened those things coincided. I turned 30 on October 5 and cut back on smoking and was only smoking one or two a day until we found out I was pregnant. I haven't had a single puff since that day and I am really happy about it and super proud of myself. When I first found out I was pregnant, I would have dreams that I was smoking and I would wake up feeling SO GUILTY. Luckily, they were just dreams. There are days I think I still want a cigarette, but the feeling goes away quickly, and I don't think I ever would have one. I really liked smoking when I drank, and since I hardly drink any more, the temptation is not there.

Agatha turned 100 days old on October 27. I think that is such a cool milestone. She is 16 weeks old today and is so fun to be around. She smiles and laughs and sits up with support. She likes to blow raspberries and thinks it is funny if you tell her she has a stinky butt. She's discovering new things all the time, and is developing right on track, even if I worry about how little she is. The last 112 days have definitely been the best days of my life and I am so so so so so happy to have her in my life.

And our last little fun milestone just happened today. Agatha rolled over for the first time at daycare. I knew it was going to happen soon because she had really been trying the last few days. When we got home I got out the camera to see if she would do it again. I laid her down on her stomach and turned to pick up the camera, and when I turned back she had already rolled onto her back! What a little sneak.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Back to work, back to reality

After 12 weeks of bonding time, it was time to get back to the "real world." I may have been dragged back kicking and screaming but back I went. I have now completed one week of work. Actually, I completed 4 days of work, since the claims management company called me on Friday to inform me I still had one day of leave left and didn't have to return to work until Tuesday. Yay!

My mom came back to town to sit for us last week. I'm glad she was able to do that because I don't know how well I would have coped with having to go back to work and put her in day care the same week. I am taking this Monday off and Chris is taking Tuesday off to watch Agatha, and she will officially start day care on Wednesday, which is also her three month birthday! I can't believe she is three months old already. Ca-razy.

Anyway, going to back to work wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The first two days weren't great, but it felt pretty normal by Thursday. A lot of time gets eaten up by the pumping process. The "Mother's Room" is in another building, so I have to walk over there, set up my machine, change into my make-shift pumping bra ('s just a sports bra that I cut some slits into), pump, clean up, get dressed and walk back. The whole thing takes about half an hour. And I have to do that three times a day.

We also got our hospital bill the other day. Yikes. Luckily, my mom came in handy again and called the hospital which said based on our income we might qualify for a full or partial discount of the bill. That would definitely help. Did you know babies are expensive?

I managed to spend part of my birthday money. I bought a new bag for myself to lug my laptop, wallet, lunch, etc. to work. And I bought a duffle bag for Agatha and got it monogrammed. I know! I wasn't supposed to spend the money on stuff for her (per my rules) but I couldn't resist and it made me really happy. I'm very excited for it to arrive.

I also bought some crafting supplies. My mom got my a heat gun for my birthday to use for embossing and other crafty things, so I stocked up on fun stuff. I'm planning to try it out on some Halloween care packages for our nieces and nephew. I'll post pictures on the other blog.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

More Stuff, Random Stuff

I just finished reading a book, The Opposite of Me, and I enjoyed it but there was something off about the book. The story took place in 2009 or 2010 and the protagonist was a 29 year old woman. And:

  • She repeatedly mentions "cyber cafes"

  • Her twin sister lamented choosing between Calvin Kleins and Jordache jeans in high school

  • Mentioned wearing Gloria Vanderbilt jeans in seventh grade

  • Complained about lack of Mars bars in vending machine

Cyber cafes don't really exist anymore. People just go to coffee shops with wifi. I understand that you might go to a "cyber cafe" if you don't have a computer, but the main character has a laptop and mentions that she is in a coffee shop. But she keeps calling it a cyber cafe. This seems really dated to me.

I am basically the same age as the main character. Calvin Klein and Jordache jeans were not the "it" jeans to be wearing at that time. I grew up in a small town but even there those jeans were popular ten years earlier then when the main characters would have been in high school.

Same goes fro Gloria Vanderbilt jeans. Weren't these popular in the late seventies and early eighties? Not early nineties, when the main character would have been in seventh grade.

Mars bars were discontinued in the US in 2002. I don't think I've ever even seen one. Wikipedia says they were relaunched exclusively to Wal-Mart in 2010, however. That doesn't explain why anyone would expect them to be in a hospital vending machine in 2009.

Basically, the book was pretty good but I kept getting distracted by all the weird inaccuracies. I was talking to Chris about it and he said it sounded like someone wrote it with a different time period in mind and then decided to set it in modern day and forgot to change the details.

Other stuff, other stuff. I have to go back to work on Monday. BOOOOOOOOOO! I really don't want to. I like my job and I am sure after a few days it will be fine, but I already feel the overwhelming mom guilt of leaving my child in someone else's care.

I am almost done with Agatha's Halloween costume and it is The. Cutest. Thing. Ever. I can't wait to show pictures. I have to stop myself from dressing her in it every day.

Chris' parents sent me some money for my birthday and I am going to spend it ALL on MYSELF. Not stuff for the house or the baby or put it in savings. ME. I'm going to buy pretty, dumb, frivolous stuff just because I want it.

Chris got me the Rifle Paper calendar I wanted and the Design*Sponge book. I am so happy and look forward to enjoying both.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Reading Frustrations

It takes a lot for me to not finish a book. It has to be a pretty bad book. That said, that was not the case this week.

I was reading I See You Everywhere by Julia Glass and was really enjoying it. ***SPOILER ALERT - I am going to ruin the book for you***

Then with like twenty pages left in the book, one of the main characters dies. That was upsetting, but not that big of a deal. The part I couldn't handle was that for the rest of the book, it seemed like anyway, all they did was talk about the death and what was she thinking before she died, and just examining all the horrible things about death. Now, I was reading this at midnight right before I was supposed to go to sleep. And I do not deal well with death. I don't like to think about it, because once I think about it, it is all I think about it. And when you think about it, it's not fair, is it? Who came up with this system?? Love your life, have a great time, oh by the way some day you're going to die. If I was guaranteed to live to 90, fine, I could handle that. But I can't handle the thought that I could walk out my door and get hit by a bus. Or just fall down dead while doing the dishes. That is not fair. NOT FAIR. I couldn't finish the book, because it kept me up all night THINKING HORRIBLE THOUGHTS. Thanks a lot, book.

So, I need to find a new book. I have two more from the library, but after re-examining the book jackets, one contains "an unthinkable tragedy." No, thanks. This is why chick lit is so popular.

In other book-related news, I took Aggie to the library today and we picked up:

Parents in the Pigpen, Pigs in the Tub

Babar's World Tour

There's Something in My Attic

Madeline and the Gypsies

Good choices, Agatha!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I hope I am not getting ahead of myself, but the last three days have been so wonderful sleep-wise with Agatha.

Our routine before was just waiting for Agatha to fall asleep. During the day this meant she would normally fall asleep after nursing or while we were rocking or bouncing her. Then we would lay her down and she would inevitably wake up twenty minutes later. Or I would put her in her bouncer chair and she would continue to sleep, but I wanted to break that habit.

At night, she wouldn't fall asleep until sometimes two in the morning, and only after being walked, bounced, sat in front of the stove fan, sang to, etc. It was very frustrating. She would sleep for 3 to 5 hours at a time once she fell asleep, so that was fine, but the timing was not acceptable. Or the amount of time it took to get her to fall asleep.

I read a few books on sleep and they all said to put the baby down and let her fuss and cry. I could check on her every so often but she would have to learn to soothe herself and would have to "cry it out." I tried it one night for about five minutes. It just wasn't for me. First of all, Agatha is still very young and I want her to trust me. Chris and I are her whole world right now and she looks to us for all her needs. I thought there had to be a better way for all of us.

I heard about The No-Cry Sleep Solution and requested it from the library. I started reading it the first night I had it and immediately had a few major breakthroughs. That night around 12:00, I laid with Agatha on the bed for awhile and just spent some quiet time with her. When she started to get quieter and looked drowsy, I moved her to the Pack n Play and swaddled her with her arms in. (We had stopped doing this several weeks ago because she seemed to fight it.) Then, I stayed in the room with her and soothed her by putting my hands on her when she started fussing. I also gave her a pacifier to suck on. When she started to look like she was about to fall asleep, I took the pacifier away, to try to encourage her to learn to fall asleep without sucking. It took about ten minutes total and she slept for seven hours straight!

The next day I started doing the same thing for naps. And I did the same thing that next night. That night she slept from 10:45 to 3:45 and then from 4:00 to 8:30, nursing in between. Last night she slept from 10:30 to 2:20, then 2:30 to 5:30, then 5:50 to 9:30, nursing at wakings. Every nap I have done the same thing and it takes her about five minutes to fall asleep.

I know it has only been a few days, but I am amazed. Instead of waiting for her to fall asleep, I pay attention to when she looks like she is getting tired and get her ready to sleep. Maybe this is a big DUH! thing to other moms or more experienced moms, but it was like a light coming on for me. There are lots of other great tips and insights in the book that I am looking forward to utilizing as she gets older.

Hopefully, we will continue to have success.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Weekend Fun

My weekend was awesome:

  • Impromptu visit from my mom. She can't stay away from Agatha and I can't blame her. I love when she visits!

  • AMK in town from Orange County! We shopped (but somehow did not buy anything) and gossipped and had an all-around fab time.

  • Chris and I finally left the house to see Harry Potter 7 Part 2. AWESOMENESS.

  • Agatha slept SEVEN hours straight Saturday night. Amazing. She woke up at 7:30 and went back down at 8:00 for another three and a half hours.

  • I found a great dress at BCBG but the $250 price tag was ridic, but I found it on eBay for $106. Sweet!

  • My scale told me I only have 2.5 pounds to lose to get down to my pre-baby weight. That means 5 or 10 to get down to fightin' weight, but I'll take it.

  • Finally learning how to recognize that Agatha is getting tired and put her down so she'll sleep in her Pack n Play instead of my arms.

  • Donuts from A Baker's Wife. Yum.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Uh oh

I get to spend a lot of time on the internet while on maternity leave - there isn't much else to do while nursing, although I have recently learned to hold a book while nursing - Go, me! So, I have discovered the online world of baby clothes.

Dangerous stuff.
Sweet and Sassy

Monday, August 29, 2011

Excitement Abounds

We got to enjoy a lovely weekend with Chris' family this weekend. His mom, dad, aunt, brother, sister-in-law and their two kids came up from Omaha to visit. We took Agatha to the pool at their hotel and she splashed around for a few minutes before remembering she was hungry. At least I got to put her in her suit (below).

Chris' new band played their first show on Friday night and his mom and aunt watched Agatha so I could go support him. It was the longest I had been away from her and I was told she did really well. I, however, should have pumped before I left and I would have saved myself some pain. Trying to express milk by hand in a dingy bathroom stall is not my idea of fun. The band was great and it was awesome to see Chris on stage again. He is so talented!

Today, our friends Noah and Michel are visiting from Brooklyn, with their one-year-old daughter, Margarita. We haven't seen them since before Margarita was born, so we are very excited to meet her and to catch up with them.

My goal this week is to take photos of my cards and actually put them on Etsy. I can't believe I have procrastinated this long. I did take some pictures about a year ago, but I didn't think the quality was good enough. I am thinking of getting a beginner DSLR camera, I think it would be nice to have some nicer pictures of Agatha, instead of just snapshots.

This coming weekend, we are planning on taking our first road trip. We'll be going to my brother and sister-in-law's cabin for Labor Day. It is ab out a 3.5 hour car ride, which I'm sure will be made longer with the baby. It should be good practice for a trip to Omaha we'd like to take before I go back to work. I'm excited to show her off and to see my family. My dad hasn't met her yet, so I am looking forward to that.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bathing beauty

The darling Agatha in her bathing costume.

In other news, I cannot wait to start working on her Halloween costume. I saw the pattern THREE years ago and wished I had a tiny baby to dress it in then. I finally have my chance!

Monday, August 22, 2011

One month in

I have officially been a mother for one month (and 3 days). Wow! The time has flown by, although some of the days (and nights) have seemed to drag on and on.

I have to's hard. It has gotten a lot better since the second week but still, HARD. Part of it is just being home alone during the day with no help and part of it is just that it is going to be hard. That's it. You're taking care of a helpless human being who can't really communicate their needs in any helpful manner. Apparently, I'm going to be able to determine what different cries mean at some point. That has not happened yet.

The first week we had Agatha home was so, so tough. The first night, especially. Apparently, there is something called "Second Night" or something that babies have. It is supposedly their crankiest time. I will say this was right on for Agatha. I thought I was going to go crazy the first night home. We were running on very little sleep and got home about 10 at night. We really had no idea what to do with her and set up the Pack N Play in our room for her to sleep in. We didn't have a swaddle sleep sack to put her in so we tried to put her in a sleep dress thing, that is open on the bottom, but it was super bulky and just didn't work for us. I honestly can't remember what she ended up sleeping in. She cried a lot that night and I kept nursing and nursing her but she was very fussy. Chris was a super rock star, and took her and tried to rock her and calm her down so I could get some sleep. We were both exhausted the next day.

On top of that, I of course had the baby blues and was anxiously awaiting my placenta pills. (Yes, I had my placenta encapsulated. No, it's not gross. I highly recommend it.) They showed up the next day and really helped a lot. Every day got better than the day before but I remember thinking that first day, "I don't know if I can do this." Every time someone mentioned Chris going back to work I would burst into tears. I cried about everything.

We had a home nurse come on our third day home. We were still exhausted and my milk came in that morning so I was pretty uncomfortable. When she showed up, Chris was in the shower and our cat, Henry Thomas, was misbehaving something terrible. He was jumping on lamps, jumping on the nurse, biting the nurse. I was breast feeding Agatha at the time, and there was nothing I could do. Luckily, the home nurse was very understanding and was a cat person and Chris eventually came out and rescued her but I had never been so embarrassed in my life. She weighed Agatha, watched me nurse and answered a lot of questions for us. It was really nice having her come.

Agatha and I really struggled with breast feeding. By day 10 I was ready to give up. WARNING: Gratuitous breast talk ahead. She had a really shallow latch and my nipples were cracked and bleeding and JUST PAINFUL. Every nurse in the hospital tried to help and said everything looked good, but obviously it was not okay. We ended up going to a lactation consultant at the hospital, because I was ready to just buy a pump and bottle feed her. I really wanted to avoid formula, so I never really considered that, but I was ready to give up on nursing if something did not change. The lactation consultant examined my nipples, watched me nurse on one side, weighed Agatha and then watched me nurse on the other side and weighed her again. She said she was getting enough to eat, and that my latch looked good on the left side but we needed to correct the right side and let it heal. So I got a nipple shield and ended up using that on and off for about a week until it healed. Since then, we have not had any problems and I really enjoy feeding her.

My mom came up and stayed with us the week Chris went back to work. I was so grateful for that. She was a really big help. We took a walk almost every day and it was just nice to have an extra set of hands. She, of course, loved spending time with Agatha. She ended coming back 10 days later for a few more days. It was great.

The days by myself are not so bad. I try to sleep as long as possible (usually until 9 or 10) and get what I can done in the morning. Agatha is usually more fussy/more work in the evening. I try to take a walk with her every day in the afternoon or take a nap with her. The days can get pretty boring and she doesn't like to sleep anywhere but someones arms during the day, so I can't accomplish very much. I can put her down for about 15 minutes before she wakes up, so I have to be quick with my chores. Sometimes it is just not worth it to put her down, but I am trying to get her to sleep in her Pack N Play during the day. She did really well at it the first few weeks.

It is amazing to see how much she has changed in such a short period. She is vocalizing now and stays awake for longer during the day. She is kind of getting into a routine at night and we are starting to see her little personality. What a joy. What a gift.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Agatha Rowan

I had a baby! Here is my birth story, if you are interested (copied from DH means "Dear Husband," BH means "Braxton-Hicks" FYI.

I was scheduled to be induced on July 22.

On July 18, I woke up at about 8 am and got out of bed. I felt a trickle/small gush and thought my water had broken. I called into the triage as I was also having strong BH. They said I should come in. We went into triage at about 10 am and got checked. My water was not broken and I was at 4 cm, 70% effaced (which was weird because at my last appointment 3 days before I was 95% effaced). We walked around the unit a bit and then the contractions really started hurting. I got checked again and was still the same but the nurse said I was beginning active labor and it was up to me if I wanted to get admitted or go home. I was pretty hungry and wanted to labor at home as long as possible, so we went home about 1 pm.

At this point, contractions were very painful and obviously different than BH. I always wondered when people said "you just know" when you are in labor, and I know it is different for everyone, but the difference between BH (a tightening of my whole stomach, sometimes pretty uncomfortable) and actual contractions (very, very strong cramps low-down) was obvious.

We got home and I ate and tried to lay down and breathe through the contrax. That worked for a while, then I wanted to try the tub. The tub was nice for about 45 minutes, then it stopped helping. I sat on my birthing ball and focused on a spot on the wall. That was the most helpful. About 5 we decided to go back in. By this time, my mom and sister were almost at the hospital (they drove 2.5 hours). We called DH's parents and let them know to head up from Omaha.

Got checked at about 6 pm and I was still 4 cm but 90%. I was pretty disappointed that I hadn't dilated more but the nurse said that it was good change and the baby had moved from -2 station to -1. There was no L&D nurse available for me so I had to stay in triage until 7:30. I just swayed and breathed through contractions during this time. They asked if I wanted to walk around, but I didn't think I could. I moved into my room at 7:30 and tried the birthing ball again but it wasn't helping. My mom and sister came in while DH got our bags from the car. I decided to try the tub and that worked okay for a bit but then my contrax started coming right on top of one another, so strong I couldn't even get out of the tub. I finally managed to get out and they checked me again. This was at about 8:30. I was at 7 cm and starting transition. At this point, I decided to ask for the epi. I had planned on seeing if I could do it naturally, but to not feel bad if I couldn't. Got the IV going and got the epi around 9:15 or 9:30. I was so happy I decided to get it. It was definitely the right choice for me. I was able to relax and talk to my family and enjoy the last few hours of labor.

I got checked again at about 10:30 or 11. They said I was 9-10 cm and just had a little lip. I was told they could break my water any time or I could wait to see if it broke on its own. I decided to wait until DH's parents got to the hospital (they were about 20 minutes away). His parents got there and we all chatted for a bit.

At about 12:15 I kicked everyone except DH out and the resident broke my bag of waters. There was very light meconium in the water, so I would not get skin to skin immediately after birth, becasue they would need to take her to the warmer and check her airways. I was sad, but understood. We waited about 10 minutes to see if the baby would descend on her own. We started "practice" pushes at 12:41. My practice pushes moved her down and after 8 pushes, her head started to come out. I reached down and felt it - very cool! The team was called in and 2 more pushes and she was out! I pushed for a total of 16 minutes.

Agatha Rowan was born at 12:57 on July 19th. She weighed 7 lbs 4 oz and was 20.5 inches long. She was nice and pink and yelling when she came out so they did not have to take her away and I did end up getting immediate skin to skin with her. What an absolutely amazing moment!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Mother Knows Best

Some of the best (and only) advice my mom gave me was to MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE. I have dry skin with large pores that tend to clog, so I have to have a balanced and consistent beauty regime. Because of this (or just because of luck), I have always had what I consider to be pretty good skin. Not amazing, but nothing to complain about. Aside from the clogged pores, of course.

So here's what I do (if you care):

I switch cleansers every other day between Cetaphil and Aveeno Skin Brightening Daily Scrub. About once a week I use a blackhead scrub instead.

On Mondays, after I wash my face, I put on a moisturizing mask. I use Boots No. 7 Intensive Moisture Mask.

I use Oil of Olay Total Effects eye cream nightly. Although I am almost out of this and am thinking of switching to something else. Any suggestions? I'm sure after the baby comes I will need something for circles and puffiness.

For night cream I currently use Olay Definity Night Restorative Sleep Cream but when I run out of that I am switching to Dior Hydra Life Pro-Youth Protective Creme. Then I go to bed.

In the morning, I don't wash my face or anything. I just put on Cetaphil UVA/UVB Defense SPF 50 moisturizer under my makeup. I like Lancome Teint Miracle in Buff 4C. It's really light but covers really well.

Do you have any miracle beauty products or routines?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

To Do

A short list of things I'd like to get to but most likely won't:

1. Fix tub
2. New moulding in dining room
3. Fix giant hole in entryway
4. Plant flowers
5. Install one of those things under the sink so the garbage slides out
6. Organize comic books
7. Pregnancy exercise DVD
8. Get rid of branches that keep falling into our yard

Things I will probably do instead:

1. Eat cookies
2. Internet
3. Snuggle the kitties

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

New Addition

So, we got a new kitten. His name is Henry. This is him.

Yeah, he's pretty cute.

Also, the doctor says the baby is not a giant and what I am feeling is "normal."

Monday, May 30, 2011

Baking and Other Fun Stuff

Woo - so I was up at 5 this morning. Why, you ask? No reason, other than this GIGANTIC baby growing inside of me and making it impossible to sleep (or sit, or stand, or walk). After about three hours, I took a shower and managed to fall asleep again. Then my day really began.

I was very excited to go to Target and get a hamper for our bedroom (man, I'm exciting). We got a hamper for the nursery at our baby shower last weekend, which is going to be immensely helpful, but currently we just throw our dirty clothes on the floor of our tiny, minuscule, itty-bitty bedroom - usually while there is a laundry basket full of clean clothes waiting to be folded taking up more precious floor space. So, I decided I was going to buy a hamper for our room. Man - hampers are expensive! Like, really expensive - it's a basket, why does it need to cost so much? So, I didn't get a hamper. But I did get a stability ball, which is nice to sit on and supposed to make you more comfortable while you are laboring. Oh! But then when I got home I remembered I have an old gift card for Bed, Bath & Beyond I have not used. Surely they have hampers at Bed, Bath & Beyond, right?

Also, I bought a lot of baking supplies. Then I went home and baked. A lot. I made Ranger cookies, mint chocolate chip cookies and pumpkin chocolate chip muffins (all recipes from Swistle, whose blog I have been stalking all weekend). My co-workers are going to love me tomorrow!

Speaking of tomorrow, I have my 34 week OB appointment, and I am hoping we will find out approximately how HUGE this GIGANTIC baby is. I'm really hoping for "not huge at all."

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Time in a Bottle

Wow, I have been a bad, bad, bad blogger.

Well, in my defense, it's not like I have NOTHING going on. We have been very busy around here getting ready for baby, losing furry friends (RIP Oscar), gaining furry companions ("friend" might be too strong at this point for the little guy), job hunting (hubs, not me), attending weddings and birthday parties and baby showers and saying sayanara to some good friends.

It's Memorial Day weekend and we had a whole list of not fun stuff to do. Amazingly, we got it all done yesterday and this morning! I know, right?

So yesterday, I spent hours weeding our two front flower beds, which actually have only hostas, not flowers. Hubs mowed our disgraceful lawn. I have been laying awake at night for days ruminating on our lawn situation. We are having a very common Minnesota lawn problem - Creeping Charlie. And apparently if you don't launch an all out attack on Creeping Charlie with chemicals, and spent most of your weekends pulling it up you might as well dig up your lawn and put down concrete. Which is how I feel. Now, I'm pretty lazy. I kind of want to take the concrete approach. It sounds easier. Because seriously at least 1/3 of our yard has now been overtaken by this vile weed. But I found that if you just mow the lawn, it looks 90% better. So I'm sticking with that. Plus I'll try some chemicals, I guess. Anyhow, it was because of the Creeping Charlie infestation that I was determined to weed the flower beds. I figured people could drive or walk by and see our horrible lawn AND our horrible weed covered flower beds and assume we are the worst homeowners ever, or they could see our neatly mowed weed/lawn and our clean, pretty flower beds and think we are at least making an effort. Plus, I do want to plant some flowers. If it stops raining this weekend, that is.

The other chore we did was bring all the donation bags I have accumulating over the past 8 months to the Salvation Army. Woo!! And I even got an invoice for tax purposes - $455.00! That felt pretty good.

So now I have the rest of today and all day tomorrow to pretty much do whatever I want. However, when you are 8 1/2 months pregnant and it is hard to stay in one position for long, there is not a lot I want to do.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011

What's new, pussycat?

Whew, it's been a while since I've much is going on!

My mom just left after spending a long weekend with me and I took today off to get some "me time." I loved having her here, I can honestly say that my mom is my one of my best friends. I hope my future daughter (!!!) and I are that close some day.

Speaking of the future daughter, I have been very anxious to start decorating the nursery but we are having guests throughout the month of March so I don't want to start buying furniture until I can move the current furnishings out. So, instead of doing that I decided to just decide on a color scheme and get some general ideas down.

I am following my previous post fairly closely, I think. I don't want anything too cutesy and I really don't want an explosion of pink. So I picked out some fabrics at Crafty Planet this weekend. Love that store! We are keeping the walls the current silvery-blue color, because it is so calm and pretty and I really don't prescribe to the girls=pink, boys=blue line of thought.

This is what I chose for the window treatments.

And I'm debating between these two for the crib skirt. I found a super easy tutorial online.

All of the fabrics are Ty Pennington, and I love the poppy/persimmon/orangey-red color so much! I think the crib and other furniture will be white and it should be a nice, serene room - not too cluttered and will fit with the rest of our house, style-wise. We are definitely trying to stay on the "less is more" road when it comes to baby. Any thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Skyway Sybarite: Zelino's

Once upon a time the hubs held a temp job on Nicollet Mall. Apparently, at this temp job, they ordered food from Zelino's a lot. Very good food, from what he says.

So, on his recommendation, I was excited to try this place out. Although it is literally on the other end of downtown, I could really use the exercise, so I didn't mind walking. But I'm glad I had AC with me to navigate the skyway.

AC ate: Chicken Fennel Soup
AH ate: A huge slab of lasagna

AC says:

Zelino's is tucked away in the corner of the Medical Arts building in Minneapolis - although not in the skyway, rather ground level, it still counts because of the contrived way you have to go to get here. They share some pretty fantastic neighbors and have have some pretty stiff lunch competition. Not that Zelino's sweats it - they happen to share a kitchen with big brother, Zelo, a full blown Italian place packed with an important lunch crowd. Serving soups and sandwiches on the go, there isn't a place to sit down, actually, there is hardly room for a line. A pretty, dimly lit operation not unlike the rest of the building, run here if you want something quick and have a few extra bucks.

AC likes: The chicken fennel soup was very good. The vegetables had quite a bit of tooth so head's up if you are fully cooked vegetables-in-your-soup person. I was fairly sure this was vegetarian when I started eating it due to the little bit of chicken in it but since I'm also completely ok with that I was happy. It is crammed full of greens and flavor lacking the overwhelming amount of salt that some places add to make up for the tasteless broth. The egg salad is also quite good.
AC would skip: This isn't the place to go if you're a few days off from pay day as it's expensive for what it is. A bowl of soup plus soda in a bottle was more than $8. The sit down restaurant version is actually pretty close to the same cost.

My two cents:

Zelino's is basically a limited take out coutner for Zelo's. They have soups, salads, wraps and pasta. I had heard that the lasagna was really good, and that seemed like a good hearty food on a cold winter's day, so I decided to try that. The hubs had warned me that the line was sometimes really long, but when we went there were only a few people ahead of us. I ordered a piece of lasagna that was about the size of a brick and got marinara sauce on it, since the meat sauce contained pork. The staff was friendly and fast and knowledgable (at least about their meat sauce containing pork). The lasagna and a Diet Coke came to $11, which is pretty steep for a one course meal if you ask me. Plus, for some reason I felt the need to tip on the credit slip, so I was out a few more bucks.

Anyway, back at my desk, I dug into the lasagna. After about two bites, I was full because it was honestly at least four inches thick. But I kept at it, because it was amazing. It was just cheese lasagna, but there were about a trillion layers to it and oh, man it was good. I managed to eat half of it before I ran out of room, and marinara sauce.

I was going to try to tackle the other half the next day, but I'm really not a fan of leftovers.

AH likes: It was delicious. Definitely worth the hike. If you work on the south side of downtown, get to Zelino's ASAP and order yourself some lasagna (to split with a friend).
AH would skip: I would have liked a little more sauce, if I had eaten the rest the next day there wouldn't have been any sauce on it. Also, $11 is pricey, but if you split it into two meals it's not too bad.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Baby Love

We still have several weeks until the big "reveal," when we find out if we'll be bringing home a little boy or a little girl this summer.

I'm getting ants in my pants and want to start planning the nursery already, so I thought I'd try to plan a fairly gender-neutral room. What do you think? It might be a little on the feminine side, but I couldn't help myself.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Finally got Polyvore to start working for me. Do you use this while blogging? If not, check it out. You can do all sorts of stuff.

Here's my latest achievement:

Friday, January 21, 2011

Kitty Drama

Oscar, our eleven-year old cat, had quite a horrendous week.

Long story short, what we thought was a hematoma turned out to be a tumor, which got punctured and bled all over our house. I can't even explain the amount of blood we cleaned up.

Oscar had surgery to remove the tumor and two blood transfusions to try to bring up his Packed Cell Volume (PCV) which was at 14% and should be at 40%. The transfusions were not successful in doing this, but he is at home recuperating and we will be finding out more on what is making our big guy sick.

Here he is, resting in his favorite chair, with his newest (and loathed) accessory - the dreaded cone.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Skyway Sybarite: Allie's Deli

Last Wednesday, AC, kHm and I headed to Allie's Deli at 5th and Marquette. This has long been one of AC's and kHm's favorite lunch spots, but I of course, had never been.

kHm ate: Bowl of White Chicken Chili
AC ate: Half a BLT and a cup of Chicken Wild Rice
I ate: Half a Rueben and a cup of Chicken Wild Rice

kHm writes:

It's no secret that I am a White Chicken Chili fanatic. Once the chill in the air evolves to the demi-ice that lingers until the frosty climes of the Frozen Tundra thaw mid March, this soup is my lifeblood. I can't recall just when or why I first ordered it, but I have almost never strayed since that fated day. I love it because it reminds me of ski-hill soup at the slopes I learned to ski on in Northern New Mexico. The soup has a little zesty bite thanks to the green chiles sporadically swimming in the broth, which is infused with sautéed onions and garlic. Allie's Deli is not shy with the shredded chicken and the white beans are the perfect balance of firmly squishy- perfect to smoosh on one's hard palate when savoring this 10 out of 10 for skyway soup (at least in my book).

If the soup wasn't enough to bring you in, the place is always hopping, the staff is attentive, speedy and friendly. Jokingly, AC and I nicknamed Allie's "Muppet Deli" after Pete's Deli in "Muppet's Take Manhattan"- I am still not sure just why, but it reminds me of that little coffee shop. Everytime I go, I expect to see Fozzy chopping up lettuce for the salads, Skeeter spreading mayo on a sandwich or Rolf operating a cash register.

The only drawbacks are the fact that it is compressed in terms of square footage- better as a pick up for lunch than a sit down and the fact that Muppets do not actually operate this hidden jewel in the skyway system.

AC writes:

AC Likes: Super friendly people who are genuinely happy you chose to come to their deli for lunch. I can appreciate that. They also have good prices, tons of choices and will make any and all of your substitution requests. I love the BLT on bread w/o mayo plus guacamole and the sliced fruit topped with cottage cheese. If they run out of the pre-packaged fruit/cottage cheese they will always make you one.

AC would skip: The whole sandwich - half is more than enough.

My two cents:

Although I ordered what was possibly the unhealthiest thing on the menu, I didn't feel like a glutton. The half sandwich was a nice size, the whole thing would definitely have been too big. The Rueben was stuffed with saurkraut and was piping hot in less than three minutes! The Chicken Wild Rice soup (always one of my favorites) was a creamy, delicious treat. I love that Allie's uses shredded chicken instead of chunks.

AH likes: Fast, friendly service and top-quality food. Isn't that what we're looking for?
AH would skip: Less is definitely more at Allie's. Ths sandwiches are big, so just get a half.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011


One of my favorite things about winter is the citrus fruit. Not that I live anywhere that gets to take advantage of fresh fruit in the winter, but I do get to buy boxes of those darling clementines.

Martha Stewart Living had a really simple recipe for clementines this month (Really, the whole February issue is great!) so I decided to give it a whirl.


1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
8 clementines, peeled and thinly sliced crosswise

1. Bring water, sugar and cinnamon to a simmer in a small saucepan. Cook until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute.
2. Arrange clementines in a large bowl. Pout warm syrup over top, and let stand for at least 30 minutes.
3. Divide clementines and syrup among four bowls and enjoy!

Extraordinarily simple and very delicious!

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Skyway Sybarite: Zen Box

This week's review is Zen Box Japanese Eatery located at 6th and Hennepin. With guest reviewer Amanda from if you tell anyone....

I ate: Yaki Soba bowl and Spicy Funky Roll

AC ate: Buckwheat Soba Salad and Zen Ocean Roll

AC writes:

Zen Box is certainly a box - a very small, hot one with minimal space except to order and get out. I had been waiting for a long time to eat the soba noodle salad there. Weeks, in fact. I'd walked past the sign telling me delicious soba noodle salad waited just inside the doors but I ignored it... until I realized there are about three healthy things in the skyway to eat for lunch and the soba salad was one of them. I'd say for Japanese fast food I wasn't disappointed. The soba noodles were not the highest quality buckwheat noodles around but they're not bad. I think it could have used a few more vegetables besides edamame but the dressing was great and the lettuce was crisp.

AC likes: Employees who know what ingredients are in the food - a bonus for those with allergies. They also are the only fast food place in the skyway that serves short grain brown rice.
AC would skip: The sushi. There are plenty of places in the skyway that have a fresher tastier selection.

My two cents:

Service was extremely fast and friendly. When I asked for Yaki Soba with no chicken, the girl behind the counter did her best to give me as little chicken as possible. In my world, steam table meat = G R O S S. The yaki soba bowl was advertised with assorted vegetables, but I could only identify cabbage. That said, it was tasty and quite a bargain for a such a large portion. I think I ended up eating about 1/3. The roll was decent, for pre-made sushi, but wasn't anything special. I've had worse but I've had better. I like my pieces a little daintier, so I don't look like a chipmunk while I try to chew and swallow my food.

AH likes: Aside from the meat, the food did not have the "steam table" taste or texture that usually turns me off at fast food eateries. There were a fair amount of vegetarian options, as well.
AH would skip: I agree. The sushi. Nothing will live up to my beloved Bagu.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Eleven in '11

I know I've been posting a lot about New Year's resolutions, and all the stuff I'm going to do better or differently in 2011, but I couldn't resist one more.

This isn't a resolution, per se. It's a goal. A challenge. And I invite you to take on this challenge yourself!

So, here it is: I'm going to do eleven new things in 2011.

Yeah, I know. Yawn.

But seriously, last year I tried some things I never did before. Like having a booth at an art fair, making my own stationary, and flying on a plane by myself.

This year, I want to do more. I'm not going to count things like eating...something. Geez, I seriously cannot think of one food I've never tried. But what I mean is, the goal or the accomplishment has to be big-ish.

Like replacing whole wheat pasta for semolina pasta all year. Or hand writing a letter to a different person each month. Or taking a new class. Or having a baby. Yeah, I'm already 1/3 of the way done with that one, but it's something I've never done before and you have to admit - it's BIG.

Eleven in '11. Join me!